Choose your path
Ok, so now you know that you need to get started and you need to take your time.
Well, you need to think about what you want to write, choose your path, and in this I’m not going to tell you what you should write, but let me give you some pointers first. You can write about anything you’d like, but don’t confuse yourself and don’t confuse your readers. You need a direction: do you want to write a fast paced thriller? Do you favor a good mystery? Do you love nail-biting suspense? Are you more of a romantic and wish to write a love story? You can write it, you can even try to cram everything in one piece. If you’re a first time writer I would advise against it. It’s not because it’s hard or anything, but honestly it can get confusing if you’re focusing on one direction and go another midway into the novel, or even worse, if you choose multiple paths.
This isn’t a choose your own adventure.
One of the first things I learned as a writer is that you can’t please everyone. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like something about your story. That’s fine, that’s how it should be, because when you start thinking about what others think about it then it’s not your novel anymore. You can’t try to get many different main genres in a story to appeal to a wider audience and expect it to be amazing.
So think of direction. Write a small draft and choose the focus of the novel. If you’re writing mystery you’re going to focus on mystery. That’s the key. Everything else is just to complement the mystery and make the story more rich.
Ok…everybody knows that.
Do they really?
I was writing a mystery a while back and midway through the story it turned out to be a thriller. I destroyed the mystery and tried to do too much at the same time. The end result: not as good as I thought and it ended in the trash.
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself, your mind is full of ideas, you want to make the best book in the world but somehow it just lacks that direction. What to do then? Write a bunch of small stories, flash fiction, anything short and play not just to your strengths; experiment and show to other people your work. The more you try, the more you write, the more knowledge you’ll have about the path you want to follow as a writer. It doesn’t matter if you fail, it doesn’t matter if 9 out of your 10 stories are absolute crap. What matters is that you tried and played with different genres.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll even surprise yourself and find out that you can write something better than you thought you ever could.
Don’t be afraid to fail and to experiment, because that is the way you’ll find your path.